Sectors which have seen high growth in the past few years such as wooden furniture, garments and textiles, seafood and steel are being placed under special supervision to avoid having high tariffs and trade sanctions imposed by other nations.
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh chairs the meeting in Hanoi. (Photo: moit.gov.vn)
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh announced the move at a conference in Hanoion July 9 that discussed preventing trade remedies and origin fraud.
Anh said Vietnamhad joined many free trade agreements (FTAs), including some new-generationFTAs which will help local businesses take advantage of preferential taxesand market access.
“However,this means that goods from foreign countries can take advantage of Vietnam toenjoy preferential tariffs before exporting to markets with which Vietnam hassigned FTAs,” he said.
Lastweek, the US Commerce Department decided to impose duties of up to 456 percenton certain steel products produced in the Republic of Korea (RoK) or Taiwanthat are then shipped to Vietnam for minor processing before being exported tothe US.
The moveis a warning about Vietnam’s management of goods and tracking of productorigins. It will affect businesses and sectors, and could impact the competitivenessof the whole economy.
Anh saidthe risks could be seen in some key export markets that have strictregulations, especially big partners such as the EU, CPTPP membercountries and the US.
Theminister asked the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam (TRAV) to build plans incooperation with the ministries of finance, planning and investment and the VietnamChamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to establish a centre to shareinformation related to certificates of origin and trade remedies.
TRAVDirector Le Trieu Dung said measures to prevent origin fraud were on the risedespite the ministry's efforts to tighten management and warn violators.
Dung saidthe Government should have strict punishments for the violations. Manybusinesses had engaged in very sophisticated rule breaking, in some cases onlyimporting and exporting goods for a short time before dissolving theircompanies. In some cases they created fake certificates of origin (C/O).
He saidpunishments for these offences were not strict enough. The maximum fine for usinga fake C/O is 50 million VND (2,150 USD).
Directorof the MoIT’s Vietnam Directorate of Market Surveillance Tran HuuLinh said they had discovered many goods labelled "Made in Vietnam"that were actually produced elsewhere.
Linhproposed applying tracing technology for agricultural products and foodsand introducing stricter punishments for violations.
Tran Duy Dong,Director of the ministry’s Domestic Market Department, agreed, saying theGovernment should improve people’s awareness of FTAs to protect localmarkets and develop trade activities.
Thedepartment is building a plan to establish big distributors and issueguidelines to domestic businesses about how to bring their goods intothe distribution system to limit fraud.
Lastweek, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a plan to strengthen managementand prevent origin fraud. It also aims to protect Vietnam in thecourse of international trade and improve the effectiveness of FTAs.
Under theplan, the Government will tighten management of exports, imports and foreigninvestment activities. It will work to improve awareness of regulations ontrade remedies, origins and customs.
TheGovernment will also review, amend and supplement legal documents on theprevention of trade remedies and origin fraud while strictly punishingviolations.
The MoITwill be responsible for monitoring and updating lists of goods subjected toanti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations by foreign countries and willreport the lists to the VCCI so it can tighten control of C/O for the goods inquestion.
The TRAVwill submit a course of action to implement the plan to the ministry beforeJuly 15.-VNS